The most prestigious festival of the artistic cinema has come to an end. And here are several most interesting films and things regarding this year’s edition.
1. Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only The End Of The World won Grand Prix despite vast criticism
That seems to be the most shocking element of Cannes 2016. Although Dolan is THE enfant prodige of modern, artistic cinema and each of his visits to Cannes ended up with praises and admiration (often with awards too), his English-language debut was rather poorly received at its premiere. Called unbearably hermetic, sometimes even dull in its execution, It’s Only The End Of The World seemed to be a complete misfire. The Canadian director responded to it as his “most mature film”, but hardly ever did I find comments cherishing his latest feature. Still, the tradition of Dolan being given credit in Cannes was sustained and the 27-year old filmmaker left with one of the main prizes.
2. Woody Allen’s children abuse took over the news, but there was more of the scandal feed
Cannes was always a place, where gossips and scandals were brought to the daylight, as well as edgy reactions of the audience. This year, there was plenty of it. First of all, there was Susan Sarandon, who straightforwardly commented on Woody Allen an his children abuse gossips (dating a few years back). Allen’s Cafe Society was not well received and this bashing that came out later could possibly halt the director’s career for good. Chloe Sevigny, known for rather bold scenes in Brown Bunny and Gummo, also decided to say a few words about sexual harassment phenomenon in Hollywood by naming a few people, who allegedly forced her to perform “sexual services”. Nicolas Winding Refn came to Cannes with a polarizing film – The Neon Demon – which also divided the critics. Some say it’s disgustingly unpleasant, some call it a masterpiece – all we know is that it’s a crazy, sex-driven ride. The outcome is that I cannot wait to see it. Finally, there was Kristen Stewart and her Personal Shopper – a ghost story, which met its doom by being booed and laughed at.
3. Jeff Nichols’ superbly received Loving did not manage to garner a prize
It is quite a surprise that wildly praised drama about a marriage that met almost insurmountable obstacles on their way to be together, did not receive any prize. Joel Edgerton’s performance was called astonishing, but the prize went to Shahab Hosseini, who starred in The Salesman. Still, Nichols is ahead of the festival tournee with two movies this year – apart from Loving, he also goes in with Midnight Special.
4. Sean Penn’s directorial comeback is pure garbage – according to the Cannes reactions
Sean Penn’s best times are evidently over – the man deserves standing ovations for a plethora of acting performances (The Mystic River especially), but let’s not forget about his phenomenal Into The Wild, that HE directed. Nonetheless, it was a decade ago and his directorial skills plummeted down like the economy of Greece – at least, that’s what Cannes Festival announced. His drama starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem – The Last Face – is allegedly a disaster in all manner possible. A soap opera about “Africa’s saviors” developing a mutually engaging relationship in the shadows of a revolution was literally smashed, burnt and destroyed – there must be a reason for only 16 points at Metascore… I will see for myself how terrible it is, because in 2014, Ryan Gosling’s Lost River was called terrible too and frankly, I quite enjoyed it (although it had its flaws).
5. There is a lot of great movies to watch that were screened this year
The dust in the air, made up of scandals, gossips and splendor, was thick this year, but let’s not forget that Cannes is still the most valuable of the international cinema festivals. Therefore, there is always a list of films that deserve a chance. This year’s winner – I, Daniel Blake – is probably not my favorite (judging by the plot obviously), but I will surely watch it. Ken Loach, the director, was already awarded with Palme d’Or in 2006 for The Wind That Shakes The Barley, so this seems to be a good recommendation. Then, there are others: American Honey, Elle, Toni Erdmann, After Love, Aquarius and The Red Turtle. This still constitutes just a small portion of what I want to see.